James McFadden, current LSB member and research physicist at UC Berkeley who is involved in a half-dozen local to national political groups fighting oppression and corporate power
Candidate Statement: I am a research physicist at UC Berkeley and a current member of the KPFA LSB. I am also a member of an affinity group called Rescue Pacifica whose vision for Pacifica is outlined on their website (https://rescuepacifica.net/). I believe that volunteer work, showing up for civic meetings, is critical to the health of the community. I’m involved in a half-dozen local to national political groups fighting oppression and corporate power. As an avid listener, I feel KPFA is one of the Bay Area gems, especially with shows such as Flashpoint, Hard Knock, and Project Censored. However, I also see room for improvement as a community radio station evolving in a changing media environment that needs to serve a younger, more diverse demographic to remain viable. My primary interests are keeping KPFA corporate free, improving programming, and bringing some sanity to the LSB.
Over the last two years on the LSB I have witnessed a number of actions by other board members that have disheartened me. Some of these actions are described in my Counterpunch https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/06/11/a-rebuttal-to-the-kooky-protecting-pacifica-article-by-kaldveer-and-gendelman/
This faction (which goes by various names – UIR, New Day Pacifica, Pacifica Protectors) has done a great disservice to Pacifica, to KPFA, and to its listener members. When I joined the LSB, I envisioned a progressive environment of cooperation and respectful dialogue by LSB members, but instead found myself in the minority on a dysfunctional LSB controlled by those behind numerous shenanigans and power grabs. Their actions include: 1) the installation of an Executive Director (ED) who shut down the New York station (WBAI) in the middle of its fund drive and without notifying the Pacifica National Board – PNB); 2) the subsequent attempt to retroactively validate this action by shutting off microphones of PNB members; 3) the misallocation of $80,000 in KPFA funds as retainer fees for a lawsuit against Pacifica by the suspended ED (policy require PNB approval for large fund transfers); 4) several attempted lawsuits by UIR members (Goldmacher, Turner, Huggins) to wrench control of Pacifica away from PNB; 5) two costly bylaws elections that would solidify their control; and 6) the failure to notify the LSB that KPFA had not paid property taxes for 7 years – an action that nearly resulted in the loss of our building.
As a board member who was silenced by the UIR faction, I remained a witness to their actions. The dysfunction described above is not structural. It is the result of a faction who doesn’t believe in the vision of community radio and instead wants to transform Pacifica into a top-down corporate structure. Therefore, I ask you to vote for those endorsed by Rescue Pacifica so we can bring some sensible dialogue and functional operations to the KPFA LSB. I pledge to work to make KPFA not only more responsive as a community radio station, but also to make it a beacon of anti-war, anti-oppression reporting where voices can be heard that do not appear in main stream corporate media.
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